Castration, Rape and a Sharp Blade: Saturn’s Tricky Childhood
|Saturn is the master of time and death|
I’m very excited to have my first guest here at the Oxford Astrologer. My friend and colleague Isy has very kindly agreed to share her insights into that old devil, Saturn. This is the first of a series on the subject.
I think her background in science and medicine giver her a special insight into the god of time measurement and comeuppance.
My Saturn placement is problematic. I was determined to come to terms with the old boy.
At a certain point, after reading the Greek stories in translation over and over again, the words disappeared and Kronos/Saturn’s coming-of-age suddenly appeared before me in all its shocking, bloody, disturbing glory, and Saturn as a force began to make a lot more sense. Here is what I saw.
Uranus (Sky Father) came every night to cover Gaia (the Earth), whether she liked it or not. Their union was widely varied and truly bizarre, and Uranus hated their children – found them just hideous. The first 12 were the Titans.
Uranus loathed his latter-born (the Cyclops and the Hundred-Handed) so much that he stuffed them into Tartarus — physically a part of his wife’s body, since Tartarus is inside the Earth. This hurt Gaia horribly, in every way.
Transgressing one’s true nature or that of another is a recurring crime in the Saturnian myths.
Gaia crafted a flint sickle from her own body. (This detail tells you how old the story is.) She exhorted her Titan sons, who were still free, to use this cutting-edge technology to castrate Uranus in order to stop the vicious cycle.
Only the youngest, Kronus (later romanized to Saturn), saw any point to it. He was the youngest Titan, the closest in age to his buried brethren, and had the least to lose. But as the youngest and least respected, he had no room for error.
Taking up the stone sickle, he lay in wait for Uranus’s nightly conjugal visit. Staying hidden until his father was totally unaware, Kronus grasped the sickle and with a mighty slash he clove a gap between Sky and Earth. He thus castrated his priapic father, without hurting his helpless mother, and created a potential space that had never existed before.
Can you imagine what that was like? For us mortal children, it is bad enough just to know our parents had sex! To hold himself silently in place, while his mother was raped, and to wait for exactly the moment of success, was a horrifying feat of nerve, precision, and absolute resolve. When you complain about Saturn’s intransigence, think of this, and realize what a price he paid for his success.
Moreover, he didn’t just save his mother. He carved a new space for things to grow, with a curved blade from the Earth. Looks to me like the beginning of cultivation in Europe!
To see him as the force behind the natural laws that govern sowing and reaping, the payoff of hard work, and the unyielding requirement of doing the right thing in the right place at the right time for the right result, is no stretch.
Is that malefic? Or is it just hard?
Properly used, Saturn supplies the energy of rightful outcome for well-laid effort. Think how carefully he planned his attack against someone much larger and more powerful than himself. With relentless precision and with no drama, he waited for the right moment, then used his tools to strike with total concentration and full force.
There is absolute power in the energy of Saturn, as surely as there is absolute frustration; it’s all in how accurately and mindfully you follow the real energies as they flow uniquely in your life.
For more of Isy’s writing on science, health, adaptation and sailing – see her blog Cauterising the Bleeding Edge.