Saturn in Libra

In truth, there are not many ways to successfully introduce your personal needs into a circumstance that was created before you realized what your personal needs were.

- Carolyn Myss, Anatomy of the Spirit

What do you really want? What kind of relationship(s) would really make you happy? How much will you give up your individuality in order to be in a partnership? How much has your relationship lived up to all those expectations you’ve placed on it?

So, we have this big configuration going on in the sky, involving Saturn, Uranus, and Pluto. And down here on the Earth, we are feeling it resonate in politics and the economy. I’ve been writing about how people are in the midst of career transformation, seeking to find something that not only pays, but is meaningful for them as well. And it hasn’t been easy...

But we shouldn’t overlook the impact of Saturn in Libra, the sign of relationships. The last time Saturn was in this sign, back around 1980 - 1983, he damped down some of the changes which Pluto and Uranus had made during the 1970s.

You see, Pluto and Uranus spent most of the 1970s in Libra, and they really shook up the relationship picture all over the world. Divorce laws were liberalized just about everywhere, and it turned out that as soon as the door was open, lots of people were anxious to go through it, and the divorce rate skyrocketed.

But the 1970s were also a time when living together became normalized in middle class society, when gay and interracial relationships started to be acknowledged in public, and when many new models of partnerships such as open marriage were at least topics of conversation. All pretty revolutionary stuff, and very Uranian and Plutonian.

Then, in 1980, Saturn and Jupiter met up in Libra, and a much more conservative tone took over our public image of relationship. Not all of Uranus and Pluto’s handiwork was undone, of course, and the deep transformation of what relationship means to us continues to evolve on the course that was set in the 70s. But the outer manifestations of the change certainly quieted down. Before long, the three outer planets were passing the baton through Scorpio, the sign of sex and death, and AIDS really put an end to the party.

Now, 30 years later, Saturn is back in Libra (October 2009 to October 2012), and he’s aspecting the same planets that brought such deep change to our relationship patterns. The result is that some similar issues get revisited, and we continue the work that was begun in the past, hopefully in a more conscious way.

The flagship issue this time around is clearly gay marriage. Sometimes, when I get frustrated by the difficulty gay people have doing basic things like having their significant other acknowledged as family in a health care institution or getting health insurance, I remind myself that forty years ago all but the most openly gay people usually kept very quiet about it. Progress is slow, but it’s happening.

Yet we also see that traditional marriages are under a lot of stress. Tiger Woods, John Edwards (the Senator, not the psychic), and others typify the hard time we're having in keeping it all together. On a surface level, many seem inclined to read this as their personal failures, but I think that’s missing the point.

On a more local level, there is also a lot of stress, and many people are no doubt glad that their marriages aren’t good copy for the
Daily News! Those of us who are having more ground-level relationship issues are just as much a part of the transformation as our famous kinfolk, and it seems many of us feel that we are also failures.

Saturn in Libra works from both sides. On the one hand, Saturn puts pressure on relationships so that those which aren’t strong are more likely to end. On the other hand, Saturn also creates a kind of compulsion around relationship, so that many feel driven to get themselves into something fast! It must be great for

Saturn is not the cheeriest of planets, with him around we have to deal with the possibility of feeling like a loser if our relationship ends, and feeling like a loser if we are not in a relationship. We find our relationships aren’t working, but that just makes us try harder to grab the brass ring of the perfect partnership. But once again, these are surface issues.

Libra is opposite Aries. Uranus, the planet most associated with individuality, is now in Aries, the sign associated with the individual will. Pluto is in a square to Saturn, revving up the pressure and deepening the transformative process. The upshot is that even as we fret about our partnerships, we are being called to consider who we are as individuals.

In the deeper levels of this transformative process, we are going to have to let relationship take a back seat to what I call
creative selfishness, the recognition that we relate to others, but ultimately have responsibility for our own lives. And the key issue for each of us as individuals and for all of us as a collective will be: how much of our image of relationship is realistic?

Remember the old television shows, the ones where families were so idealized? You probably share my impression that my family was more Simpsons than Flanders, more Addams than Cleaver. In fact,
The Addam’s Family may be the best model we have for Uranus-in-Aries times. Just go your way, and don't worry about what "normal" is.

Apply that logic to your relationships and you will manage your way through the Saturn/Pluto/Uranus shake up better than most, and may come out happier on the other side.

It isn’t particularly easy, because we hold onto our ideals about partnership more than we hold onto them about most things. But we can do the work to learn what is real and what is a story we bought into without really being aware of what we were doing. Many people miss out on great relationship possibilities because they don't conform to the images they have. They hold on to the ideal, while letting the real slip away.

There is a big difference between not getting what you want and not getting what you always thought you wanted. Saturn in Libra may take away the image of the relationship we thought we wanted, but in the process we might discover a much more honest way of relating.

When specific relationship issues become prominent, it can help to have a relationship consultation... astrology is great at pointing to challenges and potentials for both partners as well as the relationship itself. Click here for more information.