Astrologically, the Givers of life are the Sun and the Moon. Father and Mother. The vitality that will influence creativity, spirit, conciousness; and emotions (soul) through which we absorb the world that has welcomed us. But, for the picture to be complete – it is necessary to materialize our occurence in this world: our hands, eyes, our steps, our traces, our voice, the ambiance in which we grow and live, as well as all of those obstacles and tasks we will encounter – and that is the duty of Saturn.
His influence in the chart is connected to the process of maturing, and that is how living through various experiences since our birth – Saturn awakens our awareness of responsibility. His cycle (time required for him to go through all of the signs) lasts 29 years. That big revolution of Saturn, the cycle, can be divided into four smaller ones that last about seven years, that actually represent borders that we cross from one age to another when our perceptions of people, the world and life are different than what they were in the previous seven years. In astrological terms that is when Saturn approximately every seven years enters the sign that forms a square or opposition with his natal position and that is the age when we destroy the one, complete it and move into a new cleansing of terrain and the beginning of another one. And just as Saturn is The Builder that puts one block on top of the other – that is how he builds our life, starting from the foundation or – childhood…
The first seven years are considered to be the most important since that is when we lay the foundation for life. That is when the child encounters human emotions, from anger to sadness, he is introduced to the concepts of possession, sharing, love (love – not love), he encounters his body for the first time, discovers it, walks, runs, climbs, falls, gets up, swimms and it’s a bad omen for the future if this first encounter with the body is shy, without confidence. That is when he discovers the power of the word, he understands that it is possible to articulate emotions, desires, impulses (but what if he is afraid to do this?) …. That is followed by a new cycle from ages seven to fourteen which is marked by elementary school and the awakening of hormones which is very important since it will demonstrate it’s most important consequences, shortcomings or rewards in an obvious way during the next period from ages fourteen to twenty-one when it appears either as a complex or the freedom to mature. From ages twenty one to twenty eight taught by the experiences of the past – a person chooses a partner and if he has successfully rowed through the partnership issue, he finds a job and becomes serious. In the following period up to age thirty five he secures a shelter (home), bears children and enjoys his sexuality and productivity and so on…
However, as I said, the first cycle is the most important. Just as a house may be beautiful and have a lovely view from the top, all that can crumble if the foundation is not good.
In his first years a child learns to walk or, Saturn teaches him how to use his body for life. Legs – so that he can climb and get up after a fall; arms – so that he would be able to know the material world, the touch of another person, shapes; teeth – in order to feed himself. Saturn does not deal in childs play, imagination, general education. All of that he leaves to other planets, taking upon himself that which is hardest. However, the most important theme of the first cycle are restrictions that change in time, with new, changing generations of children and parents.
Once, children used to be extremely fearful of parents, today the parents fear their children, their freedom, their whims. In a patriarchal, traditional society – which we can identify today in India, Iran, Irak or in some African countries, the first seven years are marked with a circumcision, a strong violent influx of religion into the life of a child that comes coupled with threat of consequences (awareness of guilt and punishment), and strict obedience already with labour and suffering; a strict difference and separation from the opposite gender – which in the next cycle of growth (until fourteen) when hormones are raging and when the child is confronted for the first time with its own sexuality onsets an inhibition the consequences of which are visible in the third cycle from ages fourteen until twenty one and later even more…It is clear that one youngster from European countries cannot even dream of how his countrerpart in the East doesn’t have to wait for school to get acquainted with the responsibilities and restrictions, the cold touch of Saturn, the anxiety, loneliness and duty. In those countries and in such societies and families that have retained such conservative characteristics, the child is programmed in the first seven years to become what the environment wants him to be. In this way it loses its authenticity, personal needs, talents, all is uniformed under the veil of obedience, goodness, “appeasing the wrath of God”. And whether in the East or the West, those seven years are a time when the child gets its first and most impressionable image of the world, society, family, love, hate, possession, when it is filled with various ideas that will haunt him for the rest of his live, turn him away from some of his potentials, diminish his potential and reduce all of his authentic abilities, not allowing him to be what he is. And a child at that age is innocent. Pure. One author writes:” Even the most vicious agressors once smelled of milk and soap”. Children are trusting. So everything they recieve from their parents and the world at that age they will build into their foundation which is why at the age of seventy they will be compromised if the foundation is not good, just like a house with a bad foundation : it’s instability becomes more apparent with the height of the structure.
And all comes down to a wrong interpretation of Saturn and it’s evolution or what it represents in astrology. Restrictions can be treated as prohibitions that the child will encounter. But also as a protection. The only link missing from us having a whole is – conciousness. And Saturn is just that. And in this new era he demands that the parents become aware of parenthood. From our grandmas that have successfully managed even eight children since children “had to obey” (there all of Saturn’s responsibility was on the children, so children were the victims of such a society); to the mothers of today that often find it difficult to handle even only one child since “it isn’t obedient and whatever I tell him he confronts me and acts oppositely” (parents are here the victims and they own responsibility, suffer, give up their own needs for the sake of the child’s, unaware that they will never forgive their children for that and that all of that will sooner or later escalate into enormous dissatisfaction); to the parents of the future which Saturn is now constructing, which will precisely in these first seven years of a child’s development protect him from conditioning, threats, ideologies, where responsibility will be shared. That is when children to the age of seven will be almost wild, devoted to their personal impulses, needs and the parent will get mad when he feels like it, he will show the child that there is a time when he is a parent and that there is a time when he is something else – when he does what he loves, when he has fun, so a concious respect will be established between them, void of coruption or manipulation from either side. In later years it will be truly impossible to distract such a child from his potential growth. Psychological groups and therapies may not exist any more since people will grow in a healthy way according to their nature; sexuality at fourteen will not be taboo and something bad that would later from inhibition transform into perversion (also Saturn’s influence) but the child will instead have firm foundations, it will be focused on himself, strong and with a clear vision, without the murky dust of their parent’s projected fears, social restrictions, ideologies and dogmas.
For the end, I would like to give you a story written by Osho that fabulously describes the ideal way of Saturn’s child upbringing and precisely this divided responsibility that is the goal of the comtemporary age.
“When I was a child I loved to climb trees. My father didn’t let me do it, so I once told him :”Rather explain to me which trees are dangerous – don’t prevent me from climbing – so that I could avoid the dangerous trees. Tell me which trees are not dangerous so that I could climb them. But if you try to prevent me from climbing, there is a danger: I may climb the wrong trees and you will be responsible. I will not stop climbing because I love it! To be on top of a tree when the sun is shining and the wind plays in the branches and the whole tree dances – that is one of the nicest things. That is why it is your job, father, to tell me exactly what trees I can climb and what trees I cannot. Otherwise I can fall, break something, harm my body. “ And he had to come with me and go through the city to show me which trees were dangerous. Then I asked him the next question:”Do you know any good climber in town that can teach me how to climb even those dangerous trees?”
Then he said: “That is too much…you go too far. You told me…I thought…”
I replied: “ I will stick to what I said, but the trees you said are dangerous are irresistible because Jamun (indian fruit) grows on them. It is very sweet and when the fruit is ripe maybe I won’t be able to resist the challenge. You are my father, it is your duty…you must find someone to help me.”
Then he said: “If I had known how hard it is to be a father, I would have never become a father – at least not yours! Yes, I know a man. “ And he introduced me to an old man who was a good climber, the best climber, he was a wood carver. Father told him: “Teach him something, especially about the trees that are dangerous, whose branches can break.” That man looked at me and said: “No one has ever asked this of me, especially not a father that brings his son. That is a dangerous thing, but if he loves it – I will gladly instruct him.” And he taught me how to climb. He showed me all the strategies of how to protect myself. If you want to climb a tall tree, in order not to fall, tie yourself to the part of the tree that you think is strong enough to hold you. If you fall, you will dangle on a rope but will not fall to the ground.”