Saturn in Scorpio: Responsibility, to the Fullest Extent


Saturn's arrival in Scorpio tomorrow (Fri Oct 5) is a pungent harbinger for these intense times… a call to accept our personal part in whatever psychological complications are preventing us from attaining relative peace and well-being.

We cannot wish away the inconvenient truths in our lives, the unresolved power-struggles with family members or loved ones that still provoke our rash reactions, the impolite desires or insurgent ambitions compelling us to dive headfirst into the hottest hot-spots no matter if we're likely to get burned.

We might pretend our emotional temperature is as fine and fair as the words and sentiments we usually put forth, trying to keep everything smooth and unflustered amongst everyone. But if the lessons of authenticity and self-sufficiency weren't adequately addressed during Saturn's three years in Libra, the dissatisfaction reaped by such pretending-acts will only compound under the Scorpio influence.

The appearance of ever deeper or darker feelings is our unmistakable clue: we must deal with what's lurking underneath, or intensifying consequences will ratchet up our suffering. And if still we cannot own our role, then an increased presence of suspicious, controlling and/or potentially toxic individuals will end up playing out our drama in exaggerated, externalized starkness—as long as, and until, we drop the victim posture and take responsibility.

On the other hand, we may be in touch with our complicated feelings, and understand exactly which yearnings and motives drive our behaviors… yet repeatedly struggle with how our unbridled emotional engagements seem to continually cause us problems. Just as repressing our emotions can flatten out our life-experience, so too can overindulging them prevent us from exploring other avenues of possibility due to our being too singularly-focused. Passion is typically a wonderful sensation to foster, but at times we've got to reel it in in order to meet certain other goals, such as economic stability, professional security, and/or solid long-term relationships. Can you imagine if our every move was singly driven by passion… without reason, practicality, interpersonal respect or other values even being considered or weighed against it?

Saturn's basic astrological job is to promote maturity through deliberate discipline or restraint. He presents us with circumstances that call for a rightful response… which may not always be, in that very moment, what we are automatically moved to do. Our immediate impulse or ingrained reaction is sometimes divergent from a greater ambition or longer-term evolutionary aim we hold for ourselves. Saturn inspires us to make the often-harder choice to moderate or restrict a certain impulse, in order to further our progress in some other area. He also lays out repercussions when we don't make the rightful choice that supports our development. As 'lord of Karma', Saturn delivers what's due to us as the logical consequence of the actions we take—both our deserved success and any deserved confrontation with limits.

In Scorpio, Saturn asks us to better structure our relationship with our underlying psychological drives. We neither want to be squelching them, so they unconsciously pop up in supposedly unforeseen and potentially self-destructive contexts, nor allowing them to consume every ounce of our vital energies. Saturn in Scorpio insists we accept responsibility, to the fullest extent possible, for our emotional makeup—even if it involves fessing up to something we aren't necessarily proud of or aren't sure what to do with. He urges us to take ownership of the least comfortable pieces of ourselves… to prevent them from sneaking up on us, and also to empower us in putting them to conscious productive use. Whatever we deny or disavow in our makeup, according to this logic, will devolve into the source of our greatest self-torture.

Saturn is never especially cozy in a water sign like Scorpio, which you can understand if you've ever tried establishing a clear boundary in an ocean, stream or bank-of-fog: Its fluid permeability makes it nearly impossible to confidently contain. Water is the element of emotionality, by nature an amorphous and irrational entity that easily slips through one's fingertips. Still, industrious Saturn keeps at it anyhow, working to structure this rich fluid content into awarenesses and understandings that point us in the most soul-affirming direction.

We know we've been earnestly participating in this work when we can better accept and articulate the multiple dimensions of our lusts, angers, envies, and other compulsions… despite how they might contradict one another, disrupt someone else's precious concept of us, or otherwise 'wreak havoc' in an area of life where we'd superficially maintained a ceasefire or settled for humdrum mediocrity. When we shirk the work, we find such complications thrust upon us. Dare we continue pointing the blaming finger outward at others, we attract even more of their obsessive interest or vengeful ire. Try as we might to suppress certain strains of our complex psychology, we endure ever-worsening feelings of dread or distress.

It's hard to generalize the likely effects of Saturn-in-Scorpio's 2-year transit on any given individual, as it'll all depend on whether one's natural tendencies veer more toward the extremes of (1) wishfully polite dismissals of Scorpio-style emotional drives and passions, in favor of hyper-rationality or convention, or (2) full-on immersion in the Scorpionic pool, to the detriment of all else. Saturn simply seeks his properly moderate expression; his challenges may, therefore, seek to either release repression or rein in excess.

Those who suffer from the former extreme may experience Saturn in Scorpio through encounters with an urge or appetite for something (or someone) that doesn't neatly fit into their existing life-circumstances… yet, no matter how reasonably they try to talk themselves out of it, they cannot shake the hunger. Faced with a crossroads between what's safe-and-clean and whatever risky and/or transgressive experience promises to make their heart sing, such folks can only make their 'right' decision by deeply investigating what's spurring the uncomfortable craving. We must understand as much about our own psyches as possible, if we hope to make choices with our eyes wide open.

And for those who live by the opposite extreme, Saturn's lesson is about striking a better balance between pure emotionality and a healthy dose of distancing deliberation. Though actively engaging with the wisdom that our feelings carry can be a beautiful self-honoring, it doesn't mean we always ought to act on feelings alone. In certain cases, it's preferable to merely acknowledge the feeling and observe what it's moving us toward doing. That's because, if we actually did what we were moved to do, we might stir an even more powerful emotional charge… which then spurs more emotionally motivated actions, creating a snowballing feedback loop that propels us further and further into deep waters before we have a chance to consider the corresponding disruptions and dangers.

Scorpio energy, at its most unchecked, goes 'all-in'… throwing its full emotional weight into whatever involvement it undertakes, in order to receive the total experience and gain the depth-of-personality afforded by it. That, therefore, can carry the Scorpio individual past the point of easy return, leading to the periodic crash-and-burns that archetypally link this sign with the phoenix who must rise from the ashes of its former glory. If Saturn is used to his best advantage while in Scorpio, he helps curb this absoluteness, still allowing us to deepen into ourselves but saving us from the unnecessary pains of too harsh a death-and-rebirth.

Saturn remains in Scorpio through Dec 2014, with a brief re-entry in Jun-Sep 2015.